curry favor

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Originally from a French poem Roman de Fauvel, written in the early 1300s; Fauvel was a conniving stallion, and the play was a satire on the corruption of social life. The name Fauvel points to the French fauve ('chestnut, reddish-yellow, or fawn'), another sense of fauve meaning the class of wild animals whose coats are at least partly brown, and the medieval belief that a fallow horse was a symbol of deceit and dishonesty. The phrase curry Fauvel, then, referred to currying (or combing) the horse, and was altered by later speakers to curry favor.


  • (file)


curry favor (third-person singular simple present curries favor, present participle currying favor, simple past and past participle curried favor)

  1. (idiomatic) To seek to gain favor by flattery or attention.
    • 2019 May 5, Danette Chavez, “Campaigns are Waged On and Off the Game Of Thrones Battlefield (Newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1], archived from the original on 28 January 2021:
      Unlike Sansa, Daenerys can’t rely on her family name to curry favor; unlike Jon or even Arya, she can’t regale the Northerners with tales of exploits, though that’s probably for the best when it comes to her “liberating” Yunkai and Meereen.